Alumni Profile

Erika Metvedt, a York alumnus

Erika Metvedt

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, English Department, Glendon College
Graduated: 1991
Current Position: Showroom Manager

Current Career: Showroom Manager - As Showroom Manager for Joan Eiley, I manage all aspects of a high-end furniture, lighting and accessory showroom in Designer's Walk, Toronto. My job includes account maintenance and front-line customer service, daily bookkeeping, marketing, personnel management, supplier relations and AR/AP; and addressing conflicts and problem resolution at all levels. I have had to develop a thorough understanding of all our products so that I can educate and advise our clientele.

I am also an instructor for the Interior Decorating Certificate Programs at George Brown College and previously Humber College in Toronto. There I teach an introductory course on the materials of interior design as well as business courses focusing on marketing and daily operations.

Why I think I'm living a great life: I am working in a place that I love, doing what I really enjoy and do well at and I am surrounded by people that I Iike and respect and who feel the same about me.

Thing that made the biggest difference: The people - hands down. The rest of it is very important in the overall accumulation of life experience, academic achievement and on-the-job training, but the folks you meet along the way make it possible. York was one important 'cog in the wheel' of my life and one that for many reasons I would not have missed for the world. A single experience does not make a pattern it simply adds another thread to the tapestry that will ultimately become the pattern of one's life. A single person, on the other hand, can make all of the difference in the world.

How I'm using my degree in my career: Since I didn't know what I wanted to do I headed off to university (College would have been just fine if I had a specific path in mind) to obtain my English degree. After working for a few years I entered Centennial College in '95 only to discover I was able to absorb the maximum amount of course content. The Home Furnishings Marketing program was under the umbrella of the Business Department and ironically, I achieved the highest overall average in the entire Business Department graduating class in 1997. I would expect that there were some accounting students that were a bit chagrined when an Interior Decorating student took top honours! York certainly prepared me for that academic achievement regardless of whether or not I remember reading Gulliver's Travels or Beowulf. Also, considering the main focus of both of my 'jobs' (customer service) the communication skills written and oral that I developed during my time at York have served me well throughout.

What I've learned: LIFE LONG LEARNING is key. Be flexible, be fluid, make a change if it is not working for you. Treat every challenge as an adventure and enjoy the people you meet along the way. AND never underestimate your own good judgment and your ability to do whatever you set your mind to.